I had that triathlon in my mind for what seemed like so long, once it was over with I actually felt a little empty without having some big intimidating goal to work towards. It made me start thinking about what other sorts of things I could accomplish, which is probably the very best reason to do something that scares the shit out of you.

There are some maybe-silly, maybe-awesome things I want to do in the next year—things I’ve always just assumed I can’t do, or that I’ve been too freaked out to try. Like climbing that big-assed rock wall at the REI store, skating with a roller derby practice group, and taking part in a writing group. Also on my list: learn the Thriller dance. Because, well, everything about the Thriller dance is made of awesome. I didn’t know how, but I knew I wanted to do it.

A few days ago I stumbled onto a page seemingly custom-designed to make my dreams come TRUE. How could I pass this up? Sure, I can’t dance and I’m socially anxious and oh yeah, I can’t dance, but what the hell, right? I shanghaied Ashley into agreeing to do it with me, and all week I’ve been getting progressively more worried about the big group rehearsal. I watched some how-to videos which just made me more nervous: that routine is hard, man. I sort of thought the zombies just staggered around and rarrrr’d in unison with a few jazz hands or something, but no, there’s actual choreography in there.

What if I tripped and fell? What if I was facing one way while everyone else was facing the other way? What if I couldn’t do any of the moves at ALL and I had to just go and sit in the corner and burn with shame?

Do I even have to tell you that none of those things happened and it was actually incredibly fun and I had a fantastic, sweaty, successful time?

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The SCARE! maneuver, which involves being scary.

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The signature Thriller move, the ROAR!

On Saturday, October 24, Ashley and I are going to take part in the Thrill the World event and dance the Thriller routine in full costume and makeup in downtown Seattle. It sounds like something that anyone would do for fun and not a big deal at all, right? But it kind of is, for me. It’s about actively chasing down goals and going outside of my comfort zone and just, I don’t know, not being so stifled by my own self-imposed limitations.

Yes, I really did just get all introspective and shit over a bunch of dancing zombies. So much in life is about zombies, really.

Anyway, if you need further proof that learning a choreographed dance routine is in fact a really, REALLY big challenge for me, here you go:

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Donna
Donna
14 years ago

OMG That is the funniest shit I have ever seen in my life!!!!!
There are actual tears rolling down my face! And I’m not talking about you as much as I am about the boys….you look like you need some dollar bills tucked in the back of your waistband, but the boys are just hilariously funny, Dylan is workin it hard, and Riley is pretty fly for a white guy!
That made my week I think, and I may have to come back here and play it over and over! Thank you for posting this. Forever!

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

PS Zombieland? Two thumbs up, a snap and a circle!

Penny
Penny
14 years ago

Where the hell do you get all your great energy? Please send me some.

Kelley O.
Kelley O.
14 years ago

You look even BETTER from the back than you do from the front, lady. How is that even POSSIBLE? And is that a Thriller dance how-to video? I need to get that. That is Awesome.

Jem
Jem
14 years ago

hehe I’ve been watching the online video tutorial and learning it too! Love your video!

Cookie
14 years ago

That is so awesome! I love that every time you accomplish a goal, you set a new one and tackle that too. You are an inspiration. I love reading your blog. Keep up the awesome.

Kelly
Kelly
14 years ago

This increases my love for you about a gazzilion times. Is it bad that even before I had a kid, I realized that one of my biggest goals for them would be to learn the dance to Thriller? “But Moooooommm, I have to do homework,” and me, “Not right now, come and dance, and one two two step, growl, shuffle.”

jonniker
14 years ago

HAHAHAHAHA. I LOVE this. I love the boys all trying to HELP.

Having goals is a good thing, and a lot of mine are silly and fun. But that’s what it’s all about — if it makes you feel good, if it makes you more you, then it’s not silly, Thriller dance or not.

Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

I can’t even begin to explain how awesome this is. Just last week we were playing Thriller for Eric and he was telling us how he is afraid of zombies and didn’t like the video but liked the song. I was thinking about how cool it would be to learn the dance, your video just made my day. If I lived anywhere near you I would totally do it with you guys.

Michelle
Michelle
14 years ago

OMG! So awesome. I love how the boys are
“helping” you.

M.A.
M.A.
14 years ago

Linda, honey? I heart you. I have always wanted to do this, too. Good for you! You may have inspired me (again!) Love your backup dancers, too. Please be sure to post the final maneuv-ah. Rock on!

Claire
14 years ago

1.) Watching you all try to dance that is awesome. 2.) I guarantee the rock wall is easier than you think. I have been climbing for a long time (well, I can’t now b/c I am pregnant again) but you should definitely just jump up there. It’s a lot of fun and uber rewarding when you get to the top.

Redbecca
Redbecca
14 years ago

..what Donna said. Verbatim.

Becky
14 years ago

I know about a hundred people who could have used this class over the last couple weeks. I was at a wedding Saturday night and when “Thriller” came on, EVERYONE rushed to the dance floor, and NO ONE knew the dance. There were a couple people who knew a couple steps, and the rest of us tried ever so lamely to follow along.

kristin c.
14 years ago

that was great. screw coffee this AM…I just watched Sundry attempt the Thriller Dance! My postpartum bowl full of jelly belly is sore from laughter. Thanks for the morning pick me up and for being so cool.

love your blog….you just keep getting more inspirational.

Courtney
14 years ago

Watching Riley mimic you is killing me! So funny! congrats on taking on a new challenge!

Maria
14 years ago

As soon as I saw you tweet about this I squealed with glee at the awesomeness and went looking for a meet up in the local Providence or Boston areas. Alas, nothing could be found. I’m thinking about starting up my own little Thriller Dance Troop with my girlfriends. I think it’s so cool that you’re doing this, and you must post pictures when you get all donned up in the make up. Go you!!!

Annie
14 years ago

I love how JB is following your ass subtly with the camera. At least he didn’t zoom in? You make me want to live in Washington State! So much cooler than crappy-assed Florida.

Deanna
14 years ago

Costume suggestion: Goodwill, prom dress, homemade sash optional or wedding dress! Yeah, so close to halloween picking might be slim but you know goodwills- ya just never know what gems you might find!

babelbabe
babelbabe
14 years ago

1. I believe zombies EAT their children. Not dance with them.
2. Have you taken a zumba class? Find a hardcore instructor and go. it’s fun. you’ll have a blast. And you can already dance like a zombie…

Aunt Linda
Aunt Linda
14 years ago

My dear, I expect to see the entire performance on my next visit. And I, too, own a camera. Love, AL

She Likes Purple
14 years ago

You inspire me all over the place.

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

There’s a zombie walk each year in Asbury Park NJ….think it was last week. But adding the Thriller dance is awesome. Love the video. Love Dylan’s breakdancing while you and Riley actually try to do the dance. :)

MomBabe
14 years ago

Riley is AWESOME.

Oh yeah, and uh, you too.

robin
14 years ago

That is beyond awesome. If you actually did the roller derby you would become my hero, for real. i have secretly wanted to do that for years!

Erika
Erika
14 years ago

I thought I was the only one that thought, “Wait, is Dylan breakdancing?” This is just too funny. When I am exercising and my 5 and 6 year olds are “helping” me, I find it hard not to stop and just watch them. Kids are so funny!

Sally
Sally
14 years ago

My goals for after grad school (done in May!) are:
1. get a job.
2. move to Seattle.
3. join roller derby.

If these all happen, I will hunt you down and drag you with me.

Heather B.
14 years ago

The other night I was at a party where this girl did the Thriller dance perfectly. Needless to say I was jealous. I need to learn this post haste.

ErinM
14 years ago

Love love love love love! Did Thriller in college for a greek week event. Our’s was a very dumbed-down version but I’ve wanted to learn the real thing for the last 8 yrs! Off to google a tutorial!

Michelle
14 years ago

Confession: I have watched this video 5 times already THIS MORNING. LOVE! All of it. You are adorable and your two little tiny zombie minions are the greatest!

I can’t wait for 10/24….pictures, more video, and your celebratory post about how completely AWESOME the entire thing was.

I also love Roller Derby so I’m looking forward to that adventure as well.

You ROCK! (Yes, that is a reference to recent Twitter conversations. ;))

Liz
Liz
14 years ago

I think the best thing we can do as we get older is to do things that are outside of our comfort zone and I applaud you for finding (and doing) new ways of doing that for you.

Your boys are so cute trying to keep up! Pls take pics on the big day – I want to see how it turned out!

Melissa
14 years ago

1. I am about to go google Thriller instructional videos. Productivity, bye bye!
2. You have way bigger balls that most people I know, and I find your bravery at tackling new/intimidating things to be pretty awesome.
3. Your backup dancers are too cute, I love the way the boys were also “learning” the dance.

TranceJen
14 years ago

Thrill on, baby. This cracked me up.

Kate
14 years ago

“It’s about actively chasing down goals and going outside of my comfort zone and just, I don’t know, not being so stifled by my own self-imposed limitations.”

OMG, I am printing this out and putting on the wall. AMEN!!! That’s EXACTLY what life is about.

And the rock climbing? Totally fun. A couple weeks ago I took my son to the YMCA for a climbing birthday party, and after all of the 7 year olds had attempted the wall they said “Any adults want to try??” and there I was, with my hand in the air like Arnold on Welcome Back, Kotter. So I did it. And I made it to the top. And now I want to go back. (FYI, I only went up the 2-story wall. They also have one that is the same or bigger than the REI wall and I want to do that one too now.)

All in all, Linda, you once again ROCK. If I still lived down that way, I’d totally be doing the Thriller dance with you. And doing it badly.

Sharla
Sharla
14 years ago

“It’s about actively chasing down goals and going outside of my comfort zone and just, I don’t know, not being so stifled by my own self-imposed limitations.” I love that. I’ve had this burning desire the last few months to accomplish a few goals that have been in mind for years. I’ve already started on some of them, but wow! This makes me want to go out and tackle them all! I really love this post…and love you even more for putting up that video! AWESOME

MichelleH
MichelleH
14 years ago

Holy Freakin’ Awesome!!!! I too have an unfulfilled desire to dance the Thriller dance. There has to be something similar where I live. You are so right about the self imposed limitations. I’ve really been boxing myself in lately. So much so, that I actually had to take a break from your blog, since I was so sick of everyone else having so much fun while I couldn’t (wouldn’t). Leave it to zombies to be the pick-me-up. That all looks like a great time!

Eileen
14 years ago

LOVE IT, lu-huv-huve it. Riley was tearing that up too! It’s so nice to indulge of lifes simple lessons, like learning the Thriller dance. When they did it on the MTV music awards I may or may not have DVR’d it, and the week following did self tutorials. Its just a bomb of hilarity to do thing like that.

Also, GOD, SOMEONE teach me to beatbox.

Renee
Renee
14 years ago

CUT A RUG!!!

Anna
Anna
14 years ago

That video makes me so happy. Especially Dylan jumping around and Riley doing the moves with you. So stinking cute.

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

AWESOME VIDEO!

Lori O
14 years ago

That video is great! So freakin’ funny. And you are brave for attempting that, and posting that. I think it takes more courage for us “non-dancers” to do something like that than train for and compete in an endurance event. At least for ME it would!

Gina
14 years ago

Dude! You are my freaking hero right now! I’m inspired to push myself out of my comfort zone now too!

tanya
tanya
14 years ago

oh my god you are the coolest person the world. I hope you know it.

tanya
tanya
14 years ago

i meant IN the world. I was just so excited typing it!

CiCi
14 years ago

Too funny. But you are right about trying new things. I am going to try and recruit a friend to do this here in my city!!! Thanks for the great idea.

Kathy
14 years ago

You are 10 kinds of awesome!

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Have you ever noticed the dancer who goes the wrong way in the MJ Beat It video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqxo1SKB0z8

He is over Michael’s right shoulder at 4:43

Accidental Olympian
14 years ago

What an amazing goal. When I saw the video of the Flash Mob that erupted in Seattle on Micheal’s birthday I was so jealous I hadn’t A. Been there to see it, and B. been brave enough to have been apart of it.

Inspirational. Even with all that undead stuff.

Belle
Belle
14 years ago

That video made my day! :)

Sarah
14 years ago

OMG! That is hysterical, but also pretty inspiring.

I am doing Boot Camp and my first 5K despite the fact that I really hate working out. However, I really wanted to do it so that I could set a goal and accomplish it myself.

I’d love to know what other goals are on your list.